If someone tells you that your music recalls to that of Jason Mraz or Joshua Radin, that can't be a bad thing, right? Introducing Andrew Ryan! The Idaho-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter is a diamond in the rough.
His passion for music started in his early years. The son of a Baptist pastor sang in church, taught himself to play the guitar, and he cultivated a love for the classics, listening to artists like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, instead to what played on radio. During college, he spent time performing at coffee shops and small venues, and soon after graduating he was scouted by indie label, Divulge Records.
In 2007, Andrew Ryan officially broke into 'the scene' with the release of his first full-length album "Summer & Fall". Three years later, he kept the new music coming with the launch of the EP 'Waiting for Paris', which earned him a spot on iTunes’ “New & Noteworthy” list.
If he introduced himself to the world with a sensitive pop but with a rock edge in "Summer & Fall", on 'Waiting for Love', he shifted to a more jazz-pop genre. Both studio projects were entirely written by him, and one of the characteristics we like of Andrew Ryan is that he likes the 'honesty' in music as he ‘creates his songs as a reaction to whatever state of emotion overtakes him in a certain moment". You won't be hearing anything that's not personal to him in his albums.
And even though getting compared to Jason Mraz or Joshua Radin is fun, Andrew Ryan is trying to break away from that. While keeping some of his really well-received latest jazz-pop sound, for his upcoming EP ‘Stand’ (available on iTunes on July 1st), he’s decided to branch out a tad in order to reach a broader fan-base. On 'Stand', you will be able to hear a few far-more pop-oriented tracks. With a voice as sweet as his, no doubt Andrew will be able to 'nail' every genre he decides to overtake.
The first single from the EP ‘Stand’ is the love ballad, ‘I.N. L.O.V.E' which Andrew released, very intelligently on Valentine's Day last February. (Have listen below!). Meanwhile, the confirmed next single from the EP will be the title track, which he will be premiering very soon! If you liked ‘I.N. L.O.V.E' in its studio version, just wait for your heart to get melted, when you watch Andrew perform the ballad live with his band. Adorable.
DirectLyrics recently had a chat with Andrew Ryan where we asked him about his song-writing skills, going from Idaho to Los Angeles, his sound, or what can we expect from his forthcoming release, 'Stand'. It's always nice to discover new talents, right?
1. I recently had the chance to listen to your debut album, and first EP. Your music sounds sincere and intimate. What is the songwriting process like for Andrew Ryan?
Wow, well first of all, thank you for that! For me, I really just want my audience to relate to the song. To find their own story or emotion that the song takes them to. My writing process always starts with an emotion I have or story I want to tell. From there I just start playing the guitar or piano in a way that will hopefully express that particular emotion in the melody. Then it’s up to the lyrics to tell the story and they are the easy part.
2. Your 2007 debut album ‘Summer & Fall’ was entirely recorded in Nashville, while your 2010 EP ‘Waiting for Paris’ was partially recorded in Los Angeles. How did you find your time in L.A? It’s a complete different reality than Nashville or Boise (Idaho), isn’t it?
Absolutely it is! Nashville runs like a well?oiled machine, they have a process to their music and it works for a lot of the artists who want to be part of that scene. But I found there to be very little room for deviation from their overall scheme which just wasn’t a good fit for me long term. Boise for me could really be summed up with the word ‘comfort’. I was born and raised near the area so everything about just being in a familiar place to record felt natural to me. I was in my element, but being comfortable wasn’t challenging me enough artistically and I thrive on challenge. It’s what makes me evolve as a person and an artist.
So that brings us to L.A- the city that really helped me solidify where I want to go with my life. I’ve always known that I wanted to write music and perform, but I think working and recording in the L.A. scene made me realize how hard it is to make it in this industry, especially as a unique voice. Understanding that has made me work that much harder in honing my craft and progressing as a musician.
3. Your sound is in constant evolution. In ‘Summer & Fall’ we could hear pop and rock, while in ‘Waiting for Paris’ the sound was more jazz-pop. This year, you have a new EP coming out called ‘Stand’, and we hear that although the jazz-pop genre will still be there, a couple of songs will see you going into an 'even more pop' territory. Briefly tell us what each of your studio projects to date has signified to you, how they have made you grow as an artist and what can we expect from the new EP 'Stand'?
I think the main thing that has changed from project to project, is the more freedom and liberty I have had with them. When I did ‘Summer & Fall’, I was just so excited to be recording an album that I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to the process that was happening around me and I didn't say much about how the songs were recorded or what direction the producer was taking on them.
As we moved onto ‘Waiting for Paris’, I was much more involved in the production, how I wanted my songs to sound, and how I wanted the overall flow of the album to be. I actually had some pop songs at that time that I had written, but ultimately felt that they just weren’t the right fit for that EP. With all of my projects I want to relay an overall feeling or vibe and I really wanted to keep that EP more on the mellow Jazz/Pop side.
Now moving into my new EP ‘Stand’, I was able to have full reign of the project and that translated into really having a lot of fun with it. There are definitely still some Jazz influences (I think you will always hear that within my music), but I decided to do things like bring out the ukulele, clap along to the rhythms, and just really have a good time! I am hoping ‘Stand’ successfully relays the joy my bandmates, my producers and I had recording it! Hopefully it will also entice the same joy to spring out within the listener too!
4. You released the first single from ‘Stand’, the ballad titled ‘I.N. L.O.V.E’, on Valentine’s Day this year. Tell us about the inspiration for this particular song. And, by the way, is it true you’ve recently fallen in love with the sound of the Ukelele? We can hear it in ‘In L.O.V.E’!
Well, I wrote this song right after my little girl, Reese, was born. There was an enormous amount of love and happiness in my life at that time so inspiration was overflowing. What better instrument to express those emotions than the ukulele?! And yes, I have fallen IN LOVE with the uke; it has such a great sound! I dare anyone to try and strum that instrument without smiling, it’s impossible!
5. We’ve been told the next single from the EP ‘Stand’ will be the title track. We can’t wait to hear it! Give us an exclusive, though. What is the song like?
Oh man! It is such a great track! It is a four on the floor, feel good, get up and dance, jump up and down, slap your mamma kind of song...well maybe not the last part! Oh and the uke is in it as well so you know it’s going to be great!
6. What artists have influenced Andrew Ryan? You remind us of Jason Mraz!
Thanks so much! I totally dig Jason Mraz! He is an amazing lyricist! In all honesty, my influences come from so many diferent sources, but I grew up listening to the old Crooners like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Perry Como. Their impact on my style is undeniable but as I got older, I began branching out more and listening to some great pop music. Everyone from Maroon 5 to Josh Groban to Jason Mraz has inspired me in one way or another! Throughout the years time has churned out so many great artist to listen to and hopefully someday I will be on someone’s list of inspirations myself!
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